Mitigation of austerity has recently closed upon the level of importance of mitigation of fire among naval forces. Budget cuts combined with demands to keep the naval fleet’s operational levels intact have created new opportunities of cooperation and thinking outside the box in extending present vessels’ life span. Investing in new technology could not only add lifetime, but enhance the safety of the crew and the ability to stay focused on the mission with less effort.
Fires onboard naval vessels will not only impact the vessel, but threaten to compromise the mission as a whole. Traditionally, shipboard firefighting on steel hull vessels engage a lot of crew members, consumes a lot of water and takes focus off of the mission.
Modern composite light weight material structures require immediate intervention in the fire compartment, less the supporting structure will be damaged. In addition, societal changes impose alignment to civilian work safety regulations.
High pressure water mist has been scientifically proven a very efficient extinguishing agent; cooling and inerting combustible smoke gases with less water than otherwise. It rapidly cools the fire room, mitigates backdrafts and makes the re-entry procedure safer for the BA-crew.
Fixed installed high pressure water mist systems are often limited to designated high risk fire areas due to cost and limitation of auxiliary emergency power. Breach of such systems, or fires caused by external attacks at a non-designated area, would require traditional boundary cooling and/or BA-attack; both crew and water consuming, high risk tasks, thus mission compromising.
A mobile, versatile high pressure water mist system with cutting/penetrating abilities would add the redundancy necessary to handle a breach in the fixed installed systems. It would also add efficient and safe fire protection to compartments not protected by other systems.
The Swedish Navy has invested in cutting extinguishing systems to effectively enhance safety and comply with RMS 2010/NSC; for redundancy on their new Visby Class Composite Stealth Corvettes, as well as retrofitting on steel hull vessels for cost effective and enhanced bulkhead fire protection. Of course, the overall argument is securing the ability to succeed with the mission.